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Thursday 10 September 2015

Exclusive! Corrie's Debbie Oates on writing for Rita

Coronation Street scriptwriter Debbie Oates has taken up our charity challenge to write about their love of Coronation Street.

In return we're donating £25 to Debbie's charity of choice which is The Brain Tumour Charity. A good friend of Debbie's, who had a brain tumour last year, is doing a 10k walk – a great sign of her progress as she recovers.  Debbie's friend is a Corrie fan too, and we've donated to her JustGiving page here.  If you can donate too, please do.

If you're famous (even just a little bit) and would like to write about your love of Corrie in exchange for a charity donation, have a look here.

And now, it's over to Debbie...

"It was one of the most surreal moments of my life when Rita Sullivan stood in the Kabin, opened her mouth and out came something I’d typed. I mean, Rita Sullivan.  THE Rita Sullivan.  Actual Barbara Knox.  Said something I had sat at home, in my little office, and typed. 

Corrie has been in the ether pretty much all of my life, part of the weave and weft of the city I love.  When I got chance to do a trial script I was beyond nervous – how do you write characters you’ve watched and heard discussed for what feels like ever?  On a show that is older than me?  

When I’m nervous I forget everything I know, so, after delivering my script I thought I’d best swot up in case I was lucky enough to get an interview.  I bought Daran Little’s fab book of the storylines to take on holiday with me, planning to read it on the flight, only to discover there was a Corrie actor on the same flight… worried I’d look like a scary stalker, I hid the book. But later opened it up and as I turned each page, remembered the way the show had unfolded over the years – even when you hadn’t watched an episode, or several, friends would be talking about it, or relatives, or people in the queue at Safeway’s...  The pictures – full of icons and long remembered events - just made me feel more scared!

And now, after well over a decade writing the show, I still get a buzz when I hear people arguing over the stories, or characters, or issues in the queue at Morrison’s (Safeways now consigned to history like Marathon and Opal Fruits and Jack Duckworth’s string vests).  It’s a privilege, a joy – often a challenge – and, when we’re handling stories that radiate into people’s lives, a responsibility to write for Coronation Street.  But it is by far the least lonely job for a writer – on a team who meet regularly to create, debate, fight, laugh and ultimately make up stories (then go to the pub), and feeling part of the bigger family of passionate, creative and talented folks that make up the cast and crew.  And I even got the chance to tell Barbara Knox about that moment of my very first episode…   Now THAT was surreal!"

Find out more about Corrie scriptwriter Debbie Oates

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That was great Debbie, exceрt for one detail. Some of the storyliners (not the writers) may have done their work after returning from the рub ;)


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